Friday, May 8, 2009

Shame on Speedway Motors!

Probably one of the most sought after carburetors in history is the Stromberg 97, 2bbl fuel atomizer found stock on various early Ford Flathead V8 engines. It's by all means been one of the most popular carbs for hot rodders and racers for decades.

With nostalgic racing and traditional hot rodding being at an all-time high, these carburetors are in demand and the prices keep going up on rebuildable cores to keep the flame lit on traditional engines. In response to this, various reproduction components like throttle shafts, bases, tops and linkage parts are now being produced. Of course it was only a matter of time before someone started reproducing Stromberg 97's and parts for the 48 and 81 models.

But what's the scoop? As a lot of you have noted, there are now TWO companies making reproduction carbs. Or should I say there really is only ONE who is making an AUTHENTIC reproduction 97 and another, well... keep reading.

First, and most important on the list is a genuine reproduction Stromberg 97. These are the real deal, very authentic and even some improved engineering.

These are not what I'm interested in talking about though. Take a peak at their website and read about them for yourself. Then continue...


What I really want to talk about... or maybe I should say CAUTION YOU about, is what Speedway Motors is up to lately.

Speedway has decided they would like to respond in their own typical way to the popularity of the early Stromberg 97. They have decided to put out a low-cost reproduction 2bbl that resembles this carb. However, they have failed miserably! They had them produced using an "over-seas resource" and took absolutely no consideration toward form, fit, or function or QUALITY of the carburetor. In fact, based on the reviews and heated discussions, the $300 price tag that they have put on the unit, seems will multiply with the amount of future problems associated with this "reproduction" part.

I generally try to stay out of things like this, but I have to say it's very disappointing to see such a nostalgic part get reproduced in such a terrible manner. I commend the idea of providing economical parts for the hobbyist hot rodder in these times where every dollar counts, but if the attempt results in future heartburn and a couple hundred dollars added to the "swear jar" trying to make a low quality part work, what's the point?

Lately there was a review done by vintage carb builder, Jere Jobe, of Vintage Carburetion North. He gave it a TERRIBLE review. If you are considering buying one of these steaming piles of reproduction crap, I seriously suggest you read his review. You can read it in this link (word document):

Speedway 9 super 7 review

Spend a few more bucks and buy an original and have it rebuilt or buy an authentic reproduction. I think you're in for great heartaches if you buy into Speedway's 9 super 7.

Vent over.

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